The USA rebounded from their opening loss with a 6-1 rout of New Zealand in a thrilling Tokyo 2020 encounter on Saturday.
The United States were stunned by Sweden in the first match, losing 3-0. It was the team’s first loss since January 2019, ending a 44-game unbeaten streak. The USA had also failed to score for the first time since 2017.
But they got off to the perfect start against New Zealand. Rose Lavelle scored after a well-placed pass from Tobin Heath in the ninth minute to give the USA an early lead. Lindsey Horan’s late first-half header saw the United States double their lead. It was Horan’s 23rd international goal on her 100th appearance for the national team.
It could have been worse for New Zealand, but the United States had four disallowed goals – all for offside – in the first half.
An own goal from Abby Erceg extended the USA’s lead to 3-0, but New Zealand denied their opponents a clean sheet with Betsy Hassett’s goal in the 72nd minute.
Christen Press, who came in as a second-half substitute, scored the fourth with 10 minutes to play, before Alex Morgan added another soon after. Another New Zealand own goal rounded off the rout in added time.
Sweden recovered to continue their dominant run in Tokyo with a 4-2 comeback win over Australia.
Three days after stunning world champions the USA, Sweden were on the front foot once again with a first-half Fridolina Rolfo strike before Australia captain Sam Kerr equalised just before half-time.
In a goal-laden second half, Kerr handed the Matilda’s a 2-1 lead, only for Sweden to score three quickfire goals courtesy of Lina Hurtig, Stina Blackstenius and Rolfo’s second.
There was still room for more drama at the Saitama Stadium as Australia earned a late penalty, but Kerr was denied a hat-trick as goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl saved her spot kick. Sweden held on to claim all three points and top Group G.
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